Written by: Anne Myers
In recent years the Greenburgh Nature Center has expanded its educational and environmental resources to include a Native Plant Meadow and Native Plant Garden adjacent to the Manor House. Planting for pollinators is again the focus of this newest addition.
In the spring of 2020, Cathy Ludden, a Greenburgh Nature Center Board Member for many years and immediate past president, worked with Anne Myers, a fellow member of the Garden Club of Irvington, to donate and plant a small Pollinator Garden as part of the Pollinator Pathway project in the Town of Greenburgh. This initial garden was significantly enlarged in early June 2021 to frame the woodland path leading to the Native Plant Meadow.
The expanded Pollinator Garden, sited at the woodland edge of the great lawn, is planted with over 400 native grasses and perennials that provide nectar and pollen and serve as host plants for butterflies. It will soon offer educational signage about the importance of pollinators, native plants and native bees. The selection of natives not only best supports the environment, but also demonstrates which plants work well in homeowners’ gardens
The plant list developed by Cathy for the garden includes only native grasses and perennials that provide nectar and pollen for pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds and serve as host plants for butterflies. Natives offer many benefits: they contribute to biodiversity; flourish without pesticides; offer food and protection for wildlife; support beneficial insects that help control garden pests; contribute to clean air and water and deter soil erosion.
This new and enlarged garden became possible through the generosity of friends and family of Geraldine “Gerrie” Shapiro.
Gerrie Shapiro, who passed away in the fall of 2020, was a valued and devoted member of the Garden Club of Irvington for decades. In her honor GCI established a fund, the Gerrie Shapiro Memorial Fund, which would go toward the creation of a garden dedicated to her memory. Many who knew and loved her gave their support to the project.
The Greenburgh Nature Center encourages you to explore this new native garden and see what kinds of pollinators and signs of life you can find blooming, buzzing and crawling about.